John Tavares is putting his focus on trying to get the New York Islanders into the Stanley Cup Playoffs and not on where he will play next season. Tavares, who can become an unrestricted free agent following the season, and linemate Josh Bailey, will represent the Islanders at the 2018 Honda NHL All-Star Game in Tampa on Sunday (3:30 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVA Sports). With 57 points (26 goals, 31 assists) in 50 games, Tavares is on pace for a 93-point season, which would be his best since entering the NHL in 2009 and make him even more enticing if he doesn't re-sign with New York before July 1 "I just play the game the same way I always have," he said Saturday during All-Star Media Day. "I don't think because it's my contract year my approach or my thought process that the way I love to play the game and the way I play should change because of that. I just go out there on a nightly basis and worry about playing and try and have success and contribute the best I can. None of the other stuff comes into my mind when it comes to playing. "I try not to approach anything differently because of it being in last year of my contract. I haven't really gone out of my way to talk to guys and find out how they've handled it. I try to be myself and be the best I can - be the best teammate and player I can be for the Islanders." Tavares, 27, said last month after the Islanders' bid to build an arena at Belmont Park was accepted by New York State that he's open to re-signing before the end of the season. He said Saturday he's had good talks on a new contract but isn't in a hurry.
Tavares focused on getting Islanders into playoffs, not contract
NHL.com | Jan 27